Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
Most of the headlines during combine week are made by players who perform well, but it's also worth paying attention to prospects who posted bad numbers. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that some the prospect's numbers may cast doubt on their ability to handle certain assignments at the NFL level. The other is that the poor numbers might mean that the prospect is available later in the draft than previously expected, so the player concerned could be a potential bargain.
Let's highlight some players who posted disappointing results.
Iowa running back Akrum Wadley projects as a scat-back type, but he measured up as one of the smallest backs in Indianapolis. Crucially, his hand size was the smallest at his position, which is a concern for a player expected to contribute as a pass catcher. In addition, ball security may be a worry, especially when NFL Draft Scout's Dane Brugler had already identified his fumble rate as a red flag before the combine.
Wadley could have helped himself by posting good workout numbers, but he posted a pedestrian 4.54 in the 40-yard dash, only managed 12 bench press reps and had a vertical jump of just 32 inches. However, if he drops into the late rounds, Wadley's patience and elusiveness could make him good value for a change-of-pace role.
Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley had been projected as a possible first round pick, but after a strong start with a 4.43 40-yard dash, he posted a disappointing set of numbers for explosiveness and agility. Teams already have doubts over Ridley due to the fact he's an older prospect at 23 years old, so there's a chance he could drop out of the first round.
With three day two picks, the Jets could welcome the chance to bring in a player with good route running skills and all-round abilities. They already drafted an Alabama receiver - ArDarius Stewart - last year and there are some scheme similarities.
Another receiver who was disappointing was Oklahoma State's Marcell Ateman. Ateman has good size, but posted disappointing workout numbers. Moreover, he really struggled in the gauntlet drill, dropping a number of passes. Unless he can improve on those numbers at his pro day, Ateman could be available later than expected.
Tackle Chukwuma Okorafor from Western Michigan is a prospect Mike Maccagnan has watched in person at least once. He's got the size and build that teams often covet in a developmental prospect at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds. However, he's regarded as raw and some scouting reports have referred to him as soft.
Okorafor only managed 19 bench press reps - the fourth lowest total at his position - further underlining the fact that he needs to add some strength to play at the NFL level. Disappointingly, the rest of his workout numbers were average at best.
Florida State defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi is a stout defensive lineman who displays power and explosiveness on film. However, he failed to show evidence of that in his combine workouts with poor numbers across the board.
For all participating defensive tackles, Nnadi posted the slowest time in the 40-yard dash, short shuttle and three-cone drill and didn't fare much better in the jumps or bench press. Unless he can improves on these numbers at his pro day, teams might start to view him as a limited interior defender rather than someone who can be a disruptive force. However, if he drops as a result, his film makes him an interesting possibility.
Greg Stroman from Virginia Tech was a versatile cover corner in college and ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine. However, there is cause for concern over his arm length, which was measured at less than 30 inches, which would be an issue when trying to prevent receivers from getting separation on the outside.
In addition, he posted the slowest short shuttle time of all cornerbacks in Indianapolis, as well as poor explosiveness scores. Those would be the metrics teams would look at to determine if a player is likely to have the capability to stay with quick and shifty slot receivers. Perhaps Stroman should consider adding to his 182-pound frame so he can convert to safety.
Finally, Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley did a poor job of showing he might have the athletic ability to be considered for a role alongside his former teammate Darron Lee. He only participated in three events at the combine - the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press - posting the worst score at his position each time.
Worley was a productive player with the Buckeyes, but unless he can improve upon these numbers at his pro day, it seems unlikely he'll be anything more than a late draft pick.